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November 5, 2006

Jim Furyk


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Runner up Jim Furyk, thanks for joining us. Great round today, 65. Unfortunately for you, Adam Scott shot a 66 and really wouldn't let go of the noose the entire day. Maybe some opening comments.

JIM FURYK: A guy goes out there with a three shot lead and shoots 66 on this golf course, he's obviously going to win the golf tournament. I thought Joe and I both did a good job in my book today, putting up some birdies early on the front nine.

A couple times I birdied 9 to go 4 under on the front, get it to 7 under par. Next time I looked at the board it's on 11 and he made two birdies in there somewhere in the 8, 9, 10 area and all of a sudden got it back to 11.

I cut the lead to 2 and all of a sudden it was 4 again. 13 was probably a big hole for him. He hit it in the front left bunker, short sided himself, didn't have much, and I heard the big roar. I was walking down 14 and he holed a bunker shot for birdie.

That was probably a chance for us to pick up a shot and we lost another one. He did all the things he needed to do to win the golf tournament and played well. A guy gets a 3 or 4 shot lead and he keeps making birdies, he's tough to catch.

Q. Congratulations on the Vardon. Does that mean anything to you?

JIM FURYK: I think so. Wondering if anyone is going to put an asterisk on it because Tiger didn't play enough rounds. But, yeah, it was in the back of my mind this week. I wanted to obviously go out there and win the golf tournament and play well, but it's a nice honor. It's icing on the cake for a good year and a consistent year.

Not that I was really thinking about it throughout the year, and someone from the media alerted me that he wasn't going to be eligible and I was ahead.

I just kind of played all year and didn't really worry about it, and it'll I've got a good spot for it. It'll look nice somewhere.

Q. Were you still on the 18th tee when Adam was on 17 green? Were you able to see anything, or were you just

JIM FURYK: No, there was too much there's too many stands in the way. I guess he bogeyed 17?

Q. Bogeyed 16 and made a 20 footer to save par at 17.

JIM FURYK: Did not see that. I didn't want to know that (laughter).

Q. A guy in your position, do you pay any attention to the difference between second or third place money? It's obvious you guys were playing for second down the stretch. How much

JIM FURYK: Well, I have no idea while I'm playing 18 how much it's worth, whether it's 200,000, 300,000, 400,000 I have no idea. But there's a pride issue obviously. Second sounds better than third.

First obviously sounds a lot better than anything else. But you put yourself in that position walking up 18, I've got one hole to play, and I'd much rather finish second than third. It's kind of a at that time it's a pride issue.

Q. Adam is 4th in the world at 26 years old. What's from your view that kid's upside, potential I suppose? Seems like he's really starting to put it together. He had six seconds or thirds this year, now the win.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, he's got a great game. He hits the ball extremely well. He's got a good swing, strikes it well, has some power, and has a good short game. What I like, he's very mature for a 26 year old. He's kind of past his he's ahead of himself in years for his maturity on the golf course and the way he plays.

I'm impressed by his game, but I didn't realize actually he was 26, to be honest with you. I assumed he was probably around 30 years old. I guess he turned pro so early, probably around the age of 19, you kind of forget those things.

He has an impressive game.

Q. He talked this week about wanting to be a little more consistent at a high level throughout the year and has done that. I just wanted to know from your perspective, because that's something you've done quite a bit, how meaningful it is to either play consistently but not have a win as opposed to getting that win? There's some reward, I think, in playing well, but

JIM FURYK: I mean, yeah, I sat here and talked to y'all back in '97 when I had gone a whole year, finished third or fourth on the Money List, didn't win a tournament. Yeah, it's a good year, but it's still a little bit of an empty feeling, not getting a victory. I guarantee you he feels a whole heck of a lot better coming away with a victory at this event.

It doesn't mean it's a bad year, but you prepare and you tee it up and you practice every week trying to win golf tournaments. Even though you still have to answer that, "it was a good year but" question and you're not happy when you go without winning.

But he's obviously played very consistent all year, and it's tough to do. It's tough to show up prepared and ready to go that often and be that motivated all the time.

Q. Do you think that maturity you were talking about, did that suit him well today given how he went into the day and just kind of stayed steady the whole day, composure, I guess?

JIM FURYK: Like I said, I didn't get a chance to see him play, but it's impressive to go out there with a 3 shot lead over Vijay and Joe and fire probably one of the top three rounds of the week. It's tough to catch those.

I would have had to shoot, what, 62 today (laughter).

Q. Tournament course record.

JIM FURYK: I would have had to turn a 31 on the front and do it again on the back.

Q. And?

JIM FURYK: I was trying. Actually I was thinking in my heart, back nine, I was thinking 3 under would really give me a good opportunity, and it obviously wouldn't have.

Q. Before Tiger's last swing change a lot was made of how Adam Scott's swing silhouetted Tiger's. Tell me what you see as far as those two swings.

JIM FURYK: You're asking the wrong person there (laughter). How's that? Neither one looks like me (laughter).

I never studied swings; I never studied positions. They both had a very not only good looking swings or pretty swings, but they both have very technically sound swings. The reason I say that is you can watch the ball flight, not only do they have a very good ball flight but they do it on a consistent basis.

Q. Do you know if you win anything for the Vardon trophy or the plaque?

JIM FURYK: I think you get the trophy of the hands, don't you? The trophy with the base and the grip and the replica of Vardon's hands on the grip?

Q. Yeah, you get a little one. The PGA has a big one and you get a little one.

JIM FURYK: I get a little one? All right. Ask Tiger. He's probably got like 12 of them lined up somewhere.

Q. You get invited to another gala, I think, but that's just rumor.

JIM FURYK: Are you going?

Q. This tournament is going to change next year. Anything about this event, the way it is now, you're going to miss? Do you have any idea how much different this tournament is going to be next year? It's still going to be 30 guys, but do you think this event might be drastically different a year from now?

JIM FURYK: I won't miss hoping it's not 52 degrees in the morning, I know that. Next year is going to I think there's going to be a lot more excitement around this event. There has to be. We're not going to hear the Tuesday, Wednesday who's not here, and you're not going to be giving me football scores when I walk in the door, I know that.

Obviously it's the first year of the FedEx Cup. It's going to be a little bit of a learning curve and a learning process. But still, there's going to be a bigger buzz around this tournament; has to be. I guarantee there will be just with the points ending here and everyone is going to make a big deal out of the $10 million first prize.

I think it'll be a much it'll be a good end to the end of the year, but it'll be more media exposure, media coverage. It'll be a bigger bang, and I think that's what the Tour is looking for.

Q. You said it was tough to catch Adam today obviously. When he holes out of the bunker and you're just ahead and you look back and see that, do you kind of realize that it's going to take that much more to catch him?

JIM FURYK: I was trying to see if it was him or Vijay. We turned around and I saw where he was at. Joe just got it up and down from there, and he hit it about four feet. I was thinking how incredible a shot that was, and then Adam holed it.

I guess that's why we were playing in the last couple of groups.

Yeah, it's not disheartening, but I'm thinking to myself at that point, you know, You hit it in that front bunker more often than not you're going to make bogey. We're thinking we're going to catch a shot. We didn't know he was in the bunker because we didn't look back, and we ended up losing a shot.

He put the ball in a place he shouldn't have and short sided himself, but was able to wedge it and knock it in the hole and do what he needed to do to win the golf tournament.

Q. Sounds like tomorrow Paul is going to be named Ryder Cup captain. Just your thoughts on that?

JIM FURYK: I think he's a great choice. He's feisty. He brings a little bit of an attitude to a team that I think needs it right now. I think there was some other good candidates, but in my heart I kind of felt like Paul would be the next choice because his name was getting thrown around so much last time when Tom became the captain.

Q. Your off season, you're not doing China next week, are you?

JIM FURYK: Uh huh.

Q. You are doing China?


Q. And Sun City you always do?

JIM FURYK: Then I've got the Grand Slam, so I'm going to play China, fly straight from there probably to Hawaii and vacation for a week and play the Grand Slam, then head over directly to Sun City.

Q. I just wonder if you did anything different this year, wanting to scale it back a little bit?

JIM FURYK: I usually play a couple events, and China came up after this event and I decided to play. That kind of left one event, and I won Sun City last year, so it kind of was my off season. Then Tiger went and won the PGA and the British Open and 14 other events there at the end of the year (laughter), and I couldn't turn down that invitation, a trip to Hawaii with the family, so it ended up being three events.

Usually I play two. The only time I've played three was when I won the U.S. Open and I went to the Grand Slam, also.

Q. It's a long way to go to defend, isn't it?

JIM FURYK: I like Sun City. Actually the people there have treated me well, they have treated me almost like a South African, put it that way. They have kind of taken me in. I'll be making my seventh trip. I have a big fan support over there. I don't know why, I guess I have them fooled to this point.

But they just really have treated my family and myself and everyone I've taken over there really well. I respect the guy that runs the tournament, Alistair Roper. I like going there. It's a long way, but once we get there it's a lot of fun.

Q. A lot of that had something to do with your DQ, didn't it?


Q. What was the ruling on that?

JIM FURYK: Lift, clean and place. We were using the European R & A rules. We used to have a thing on our lift, clean and place where you could mark it, lift clean and place it, and if you didn't like it you could keep moving it around until you didn't like your lie.

In Europe now we don't do that. Once you set it down the ball is in play and you can't touch it. That's how Europe has always done it. I wasn't aware of it. I was jockeying my ball around the first couple days. No one noticed somehow.

One of the rules officials, Mike Shea, came up to me Friday night, and me and Mike Weir and a couple other guys who play the U.S. Tour, he said, Just so there's no confusion, the rule is different here than we have at home.

And he told me, and I raised my hand. They had been talking about it for two days. I knew I was going to get DQ'd in the morning. I finished out as a marker for two days, flew home, and ever since they've treated me phenomenally. They're kind of like, "You're an idiot," but I get treated really well.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jim Furyk, thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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